Comet 17P/Holmes

Last Update: 10/30/2007

Comet 17P/Holmes experienced a dramatic, million-fold brightening starting around October 23rd, 2007. I saw it through binoculars on October 27th and 28th. It looked like a fuzzy ball with a starlike central point. On October 29th, at about 8 PM EDT, I looked at it with my 8" SCT telescope. I took a few photos through the eyepiece, and the best one is below:

Comet Holmes

You may have to move your head a little to view your monitor such that the comet looks like a spherical fuzz ball, with a star-like nucleus and an off-center brighter area inside the main ball. This will best show what it looked like through the eyepiece. The photo looked OK on my monitor, but others have said that the comet doesn't show well on their screens....

The nucleus still looks like a star- a bright, point source. It was not perfectly centered within the main cloud- it was slightly, but noticeable, off center. The inner part of the cloud was clearly brigher than the outside, and it was not symmetrical. With averted vision it looked slightly fan-shaped. I saw no color through the scope, and I saw no hint of a tail.

On October 30th, I went out again at about 8 PM EDT. The comet had moved, obviously, and it looked bigger. It also seemed to have a darker region inside the outer fuzzy area- between the inner bright fan shaped part and the outer edge. I still do not see any tail. The central star-like bright spot is stil there too.

Let's see if this photo comes out better than the previous one:

Comet Holmes